Secularists and Islamists in Morocco: Prospects for Building Trust and Civil Society through Human Rights Reform

In Morocco’s process of liberalization (and democratization), the dynamics between social actors defining themselves as “secular” and those labeled “Islamist” are critical. This paper probes the possibility of these actors transcending their frequent opposition and building mutual trust and “civil” interaction, thereby strengthening civil society and the possibility of continued reform in Morocco. Using Morocco’s recent Equity and Reconciliation Commission as an analytical tool, the paper focuses on the human rights arena as a potentially fruitful place for Islamists and secularists to meet. To what extent is a shared commitment to human rights norms possible for non-violent Islamists and secularists? And can a flexible idea of human rights be an effective tool to create trust despite mutual perceptions of threatening ideal aims in the “other”?
Keywords political reform  secularist  human rights  trust  Morocco  Islamist  civil society
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